Fun Indoor Games to Play with Your Children While the Earth is Melting
This May was the hottest May in recorded history for the entire continental United States except for a small corner of southwest Florida. And now that summer is in full swing, things are just getting worse. You can’t even play catch with your children outside because the baseball will melt and also they have terrible hand-eye coordination.
Unless you live in that little sliver of Florida known as heaven (or even if you do and you don’t want to fight off the mosquitoes, alligators, and Trump-loving neighbors), you’re going to need some help if you hope to survive summer vacation trapped inside with your children.
Here are a few games that will help you pass ten or fifteen minutes and make you even more annoyed than you already are.
Jumping over Random Toys and Junk on the Floor
Goal: There isn’t one.
How to Win: You can’t win.
How to Play: Start in the dining room. Hop on two feet or one foot or just kind of walk around and step over things while scrolling through your Facebook feed. Obstacles you might encounter include a stuffed duck that quacks Jingle Bells, a tennis racket, twelve magnetic blocks, three shoes, pajama pants, a dog/kid squeak toy, and three different stretches of toy train tracks that don’t go anywhere and don’t connect to anything. Beware of the train tracks because you must hop or step back and forth across them in a specific pattern. If you don’t follow the correct pattern, you must start over in the dining room. There is no correct pattern. Once you complete the course, keep going. There is no such thing as completing the course.
Walking Around with Your Eyes Closed While Your Kids Laugh at You
Goal: Avoid bodily injury.
How to Win: You have already lost everything except your dignity. You are about to lose your dignity.
How to Play: Picture Marco Polo, but inside your house and infinitely more hopeless. Close your eyes and stumble around your toy-cluttered floor while your children scamper around, giggle, and make so much noise that it is impossible not to know exactly where they are at all times. Wave your arms around comically as you pretend to try to catch your children. When you inadvertently hit one of them in the head with your forearm and pull them into a playful headlock, everyone starts crying. You’re not allowed to catch the bluffer, obviously. Cheater!
Roadrunners and Coyote
Goal: To catch the roadrunners, but not really.
How to Win: If you don’t have a heart attack after running in circles around the house for an hour, you win! Just kidding, of course, you still lose.
How to Play: Recreate the classic cartoon featuring a roadrunner and a coyote with you reprising the role of the coyote (surprise!) and your children starring as roadrunners. The coyote chases the roadrunner(s) around the house in circles for an hour or several hours. You might want to drop the a/c temperature down to around sixty-eight before you get started with this one. The coyote must change direction and chase whichever roadrunner makes a “beep beep” sound. The coyote tries to catch a roadrunner, but s/he cannot do so if the roadrunner stops and “turns into a statue.” Unless, of course, the statue sticks it’s tongue out, then it’s fair game. If the coyote catches a roadrunner, he did it wrong.
Slap the Jack
Goal: To get all the cards and/or avoid a screaming match.
How to Win: If you win, you lose, and if you lose, you lose.
How to Play: Divide a deck of cards into two equal piles. Keep one pile for yourself and give the other pile to your child. Switch piles after your child complains that theirs is smaller. Take turns lifting one card from the top of your piles and placing face up in a third pile in the center of the table or couch cushion. You can complete this task like a normal person, but your kid will turn each card over slowly, study it for three seconds, and then place it on the pile. If he turns up a jack, he will first say “look what this is!” before setting it down. When a jack unexpectedly appears on the table or dog-hair infested ottoman, wait five seconds and then slap at it comically. Repeat until your kid collects all the cards (or if you dare, and this is highly unadvisable, you collect all the cards) or one or both of you falls to the floor crying.
Goal: To not lose your mind from boredom or break your nice TV.
How to Win: Have you not been paying attention?
How to Play: Toss the shuttlecock to your child. Watch them swing and miss. Repeat forty-seven times. On the forty-eighth toss, when your child trips over a pillow and miraculously makes contact, scramble to return their shot. When you miss, prepare to be berated for ten minutes or the rest of the day for ruining everything.
Watching Peppa Pig Compilation Videos on YouTube
Just do this.
Andrew is a writer from Orlando whose work has appeared on McSweeney’s, Cafe.com, Robot Butt, The Higgs Weldon, Parent.co, Scary Mommy, Mock Mom, and HuffPost. His first book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available now. For more, visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.